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Monthly Archives: May 2018


 

The all-encompassing ignorance of our Resident on what is happening in his administration and his inability to concentrate on issues until they are complete. The campaign has long been over but TOTUS is still running for  (or from) office~MA 

 Matthew Daly and Richard Lardner, Associated Press, Associated Press 4 hours ago

 

 WASHINGTON (AP) — At a West Virginia rally on tax cuts, President Donald Trump veered off on a subject that likely puzzled most of his audience.

“Nine of your people just came up to me outside. ‘Could you talk about 202?'” he said. “We’ll be looking at that 202. You know what a 202 is? We’re trying.”

One person who undoubtedly knew what Trump was talking about last month was Jeff Miller, an energy lobbyist with whom the president had dined the night before. Miller had been hired by FirstEnergy Solutions, a bankrupt power company that relies on coal and nuclear energy to produce electricity. His assignment: push the Trump administration to use a so-called 202 order — named for a provision of the Federal Power Act — to secure a bailout worth billions of dollars.

Although Trump didn’t agree to the plan — he still hasn’t — for Miller, a president’s public declaration of interest amounted to a job well done.

How a single lobbyist helped carry a long-shot idea from obscurity to the presidential stage is a twisty journey through the new swamp of Trump’s Washington. Rather than clearing out the lobbyists and campaign donors that spend big money to sway politicians, Trump and his advisers paved the way for a new cast of powerbrokers who have quickly embraced familiar ways to wield influence.

Miller is among them. A well-connected GOP fundraiser, he served in the past as an adviser to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, also a close friend. He ran Perry’s unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2016. And when Trump tapped Perry to lead the Energy Department, Miller shepherded his friend through confirmation, sitting behind him, next to the nominee’s wife, at the Senate hearing.

When Perry came to Washington, Miller did, too. He launched his firm, Miller Strategies, early last year and began lobbying his friend and other Washington officials.

Besides Perry, Miller is close to other Trump-era power players. He is among House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s best friends, their relationship dating back decades to Miller’s days in California. In more recent years, Miller developed a friendship with Vice President Mike Pence adviser Marty Obst.

Obst says the two began working closely together when Perry and Pence held leadership roles at the Republican Governors Association several years ago. “He’s very influential in Washington, a leading fundraiser,” Obst said of Miller in a brief interview.

Now, after 14 months in business, the 43-year-old has collected more than $3.2 million from a roster of clients that includes several of the nation’s largest energy companies, among them Southern Co., a nuclear power plant operator headquartered in Atlanta, and Texas-based Valero Energy, according to federal filings.

Miller also has continued to raise money for GOP politicians. He contributed nearly $37,000 of his own over the past year to Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Greg Pence of Indiana, who’s seeking the congressional seat once held by his younger brother, the vice president, according to federal campaign records.

He is an active supporter of America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC that raised $4.7 million in the first three months of 2018. That work earned him a spot at dinner with Trump, McCarthy and other GOP donors in the upscale City Center complex blocks from the White House.

“What happened to draining the political swamp?” asks Dick Munson with the Environmental Defense Fund, who said he sees FirstEnergy and other coal operators “grasping” for bailouts to solve problems of their own making. “It seems when you don’t have solid arguments, you hire well-paid lobbyists and make huge political contributions.”

Miller declined to comment for this story.

Brian Walsh, president of America First Action, said Miller raises money for the group on a volunteer basis. Miller, who lives in Texas, spent years outside of Washington independently developing an “amazing” network of connections, Walsh said. He described Miller as a “straight shooter” and rejected the notion that he is cashing in on Trump’s election and Perry’s ascension to energy chief.

“He doesn’t play games with people,” Walsh said of Miller.

But Tim Judson, executive director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, an activist group, called Miller’s involvement in the bailout request the ultimate “Washington swamp” situation.

“We have a special-interest appeal by FirstEnergy, a top lobbyist dining with the president, and that same lobbyist is raising money for a pro-Trump super PAC and asking for ’emergency action’ from someone whose presidential campaign he ran,” Judson said.

Miller registered as a lobbyist in Washington in February 2017, just after Trump took office. He was hired by FirstEnergy in July 2017. Lobbying disclosure records show he was paid to target the highest levels of American government: the White House — to include the offices of Trump and Pence — and Perry’s Energy Department. Miller has earned $330,000 from FirstEnergy since last year, making him one of the company’s highest-paid outside lobbyists.

The coal industry’s top priority at the time was seizing on the campaign promises Trump had made — he pledged repeatedly to bring back coal jobs — to ask for unprecedented federal assistance.

Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp., the nation’s largest privately owned coal-mining company, and its largest customer, FirstEnergy, pushed the Energy Department for an emergency order, a measure typically reserved for war or natural disasters. Among other measures, the intervention would have exempted power plants from obeying a host of environmental laws and would have spent billions to keep coal-fired plants open, an unprecedented federal intervention in the nation’s energy markets.

CEO Robert Murray and Charles Jones, CEO of FirstEnergy’s parent company, met with Trump in West Virginia to discuss the request, informing the president that the power company was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Despite the high-powered lobbying, Perry rejected the request in August, saying the emergency order wasn’t the right mechanism. He offered another option, asking federal energy regulators to approve a plan that would reward nuclear and coal-fired power plants for adding reliability to the nation’s power grid. But the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected the plan in January, saying there’s no evidence that past or planned retirements of coal-fired power plants pose a threat to grid reliability.

Soon after, FirstEnergy began pushing anew for the 202. Miller has visited the Energy Department at least twice since June, including on the day Trump delivered a speech on his energy agenda at the agency’s Washington headquarters.

The company argues the emergency order is needed to prevent premature retirement of coal and nuclear plants that “cannot operate profitably under current market conditions.” The proposal would allocate money to subsidize the company and other coal operators — an outcome the company says would avert thousands of layoffs and help ensure reliability of the electric grid up and down the East Coast.

The Ohio-based company filed for bankruptcy in late March, days after announcing it would shut down three nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania within three years. The announcement followed the planned closure of a West Virginia coal-fired plant, one of a series of closings as the coal and nuclear industries struggle to compete with electricity plants that burn natural gas.

FirstEnergy’s bid for the emergency request is widely opposed by business and environmental groups as an unfair tipping of the scales in favor of faltering energy sources.

An independent wholesaler that oversees the power grid in 13 states and the District of Columbia has said the Eastern grid is in no immediate danger. FirstEnergy can shut down its three nuclear power plants within three years without destabilizing the power grid, according to a report last month from the wholesaler, PJM Interconnection.

Still, the push for a bailout continues.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., recently suggested that Perry consider using a Korean War-era defense law to prevent the retirement of ailing coal and nuclear units. The Defense Production Act of 1950 is intended to prioritize industries deemed vital to national security. President Harry Truman used the law to cap wages and impose price controls on the steel industry.

FirstEnergy said it supports the premise, although it says it has not specifically urged Perry to use the defense law.

Perry said the administration is looking at the defense law “very closely,” one of several options being considered.

Associated Press writer Steve Peoples contributed to this report.

Follow Matthew Daly: http://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDC and Richard Lardner: http://twitter.com/rplardner

 

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The lesser heard Evangelicals seeking a bigger platform to offer the better side of the Evangelical beliefs.~MA.
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN 15 hrs ago
LYNCHBURG, Va. — The night before Shane Claiborne came to town to preach at a Christian revival, he received a letter from the chief of police at Liberty University warning that if he set foot on the property, he would be arrested for trespassing and face up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
At first glance, Mr. Claiborne hardly appeared a threat to Liberty University, a dominant force in Lynchburg, Va., and a powerful engine in evangelical Christianity. Wearing baggy clothes that he sews himself, Mr. Claiborne preaches the gospel, lives among the poor and befriends prisoners on death row, modeling his ministry on the life of Jesus.
But to the leaders of Liberty, he was a menace to their campus. He and his national network of liberal evangelicals, called the Red Letter Christians, were holding a revival meeting to protest in Liberty’s backyard. Their target: Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty’s president and a man who has played a pivotal role in forging the alliance between white evangelicals and Donald J. Trump, who won 81 percent of their vote.

Mr. Claiborne and his group are the other evangelicals. The Red Letter Christians, a reference to the words of Jesus printed in some Bibles in red type, are not the evangelicals invited for interviews on Fox News or MSNBC. They don’t align neatly with either political party. But they have fierce moral and theological objections to those evangelicals who have latched onto Mr. Trump and the Republican Party.
“Let’s go where the Christians are, go where toxic Christianity lives,” Mr. Claiborne said last year, when proposing the idea for a revival in Lynchburg at an annual retreat for the Red Letter Christians.
The revival last month was the most energetic of several recent attempts by Christians in various camps to confront what they see as Mr. Trump’s “court evangelicals” selling out the faith. The critics have written columns, and a book called “Still Evangelical?” They convened a closed-door summit last month at Wheaton College. A number of bereaved, eminent elders plan a procession to the White House soon to hand over their manifesto, “Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis.”
Mr. Claiborne and his group were far more audacious, but they also faced disappointment, resistance and fear. They were taking on Lynchburg, a company town where Liberty University is the biggest employer. Their “Red Letter Revival” revealed the state of the evangelical church in 2018: The loudest voices and institutional power and money are with Mr. Trump; the dissenters are fired-up, underfunded and scattered; and the vast majority of pastors are silent for fear of dividing their congregations or risking their jobs.
“There is another gospel in our country right now, and it is the gospel of Trump,” Mr. Claiborne preached at the revival in his Tennessee drawl. “It doesn’t look much like the gospel of Jesus.”
Lynchburg sits at the heart of pro-Trump evangelical Christianity. Liberty University’s commencement speaker last year was Mr. Trump, a personal friend of Mr. Falwell’s. Fox News hosts are frequent speakers at chapel services.
Mr. Trump has retained the loyalty of conservative white evangelicals because he is delivering on their political priorities: appointing conservative judges, moving the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and allowing religious entities to opt out of serving gay people or providing birth control in insurance plans. This record has enabled them to look past Mr. Trump’s personal scandals, including allegations of extramarital affairs.
But Red Letter Christians and other evangelicals have increasingly become frustrated that their church appears to be endorsing Mr. Trump’s program of deporting immigrants, fanning racial tension and passing a tax deal benefiting the rich.
“This is not of God,” thundered Barbara Williams-Skinner, an influential black evangelical elder in Washington, D.C., as the audience stood and clapped at the revival. “This is not worthy of our savior. This is not what he died for.”
Beginning in January, Don Golden, the executive director of the Red Letter Christians, visited Lynchburg seven times in three months to try to recruit like-minded leaders and Liberty students.
Mr. Golden had done refugee and missionary work in 70 countries. At age 51, with three daughters in college, he had left behind a fat salary in large ministries he called “Evangelical Inc.” and was on contract for the Red Letter Christians, without health insurance. Each morning he prayed to God to help him make it through the day without a mishap.
In Lynchburg, Mr. Golden began following the approach of the mass revivals honed for decades by the Rev. Billy Graham, in which organizers from out of town recruited local ministers to help turn out crowds and engage new believers. But Mr. Golden quickly learned how challenging his task would be.
When the president of Lynchburg College, Kenneth R. Garren, learned that some of his chaplains and faculty had hosted a Red Letter meeting on campus, he told them the college could not sponsor the event or host meetings.
“We didn’t want to take sides. We have a fine relationship with Liberty,” said Michael Jones, a spokesman for Lynchburg College, also a Christian school.
Three days before the revival, Mr. Golden met for breakfast with a leader of a local evangelical church in the dim, empty back room of a downtown cafe, so as not to be seen together. The church leader, who spoke on the condition that neither he nor his church be identified, said he believed in the Red Letter campaign because he was concerned about white evangelicals’ bond with Mr. Trump.
But the leader said that his church could not participate in the revival. He and three other elders at the church had jobs at Liberty University.
Still, Mr. Golden and the Red Letter Christians found small signs of support. The local organizing committee for the revival included three Liberty students, a Native American minister, and a few black pastors and church leaders. They held different views on homosexuality, but decided to work together in the interest of Christian unity.
“We need to break out of our silos,” said Anne Boynton, an elder at First Christian Church, who was a local co-chairwoman for the revival. “This is an aspirational moment, an opportunity to experience what the kingdom of God looks like.”
Mr. Golden also went to a white stucco church, Rivermont Baptist, to visit the Rev. Byron J. Elliott, who had been deliberating for weeks whether to accept an invitation to preach at the revival.
Mr. Elliott’s father, also a minister, had grown up in the church and braved the sit-ins at a “whites only” lunch counter on Main Street. The family later moved to New York and Mr. Elliott said he returned to Lynchburg two years ago to serve his father’s struggling church. But he felt like an outsider.
“Everyone’s afraid,” he said, pausing. “That’s strong language. Everyone’s very mindful of how they speak and how they deliver the truth. It’s hard to tell the truth in a context like Lynchburg.”
Few black churches in low-income Lynchburg can support full-time pastors, Mr. Elliott told Mr. Golden, so many find jobs on the Liberty campus.
Mr. Elliott, though, had made his decision. He would preach at the Red Letter Revival. “I’ve learned recently that there’s a difference between having something to say and having a voice,” he said.
But there was still the question of how Mr. Falwell himself would react to the event. Ten days before the revival, Mr. Claiborne wrote a letter to Mr. Falwell inviting him to join. Mr. Claiborne was not entirely a stranger — he had preached at Liberty after writing his book, “Jesus for President.” And Mr. Claiborne asked if he could bring some of the participants onto the Liberty campus for a prayer vigil. He asked Mr. Falwell to join them.
“I already pray for you, but I would love to pray with you,” Mr. Claiborne wrote, signing off, “Your brother in Christ.”
Mr. Falwell never responded, though in addition to banning the Red Letter Christians from campus, he forbade the Liberty University student newspaper from covering the revival. When Erin Covey, the student assigned to the story, asked Mr. Falwell to comment on the revival, she received a text from him that said: “Let’s not run any articles about the event. That’s all these folks are here for — publicity. Best to ignore them.”
Mr. Falwell’s brother, the Rev. Jonathan Falwell, agreed to meet with Mr. Golden, though, at Thomas Road Baptist Church on the Liberty campus.
“We really didn’t ask permission to come to Lynchburg,” Mr. Golden said in the meeting. “But we weren’t asked permission for evangelical leaders to say that Donald Trump is the president for evangelicals.”
In an interview later by phone, the Rev. Jonathan Falwell said he disagreed with Mr. Golden’s premise that evangelicalism has been compromised by backing Mr. Trump. “I think the condition of the church today is strong,” he said.
And he said Liberty was justified in barring the Red Letter Christians because Mr. Claiborne had threatened to commit civil disobedience.
“An organization has a duty to the parents to protect their kids,” he said.
When the day of the revival came, the mood and the music inside the cavernous auditorium was upbeat, but began to deflate as the 2,000 seats failed to fill. About 350 people from 28 states attended over two nights. Many said they felt alone in their home churches and had come to find their tribe. Another 3,500 watched a livestream. Roughly two dozen students from Liberty University came.
Mr. Claiborne still wanted to lead a group onto the Liberty campus and hold a prayer vigil — or at least leave a gift for Mr. Falwell, who had just opened a new $3.2 million gun range on campus. Mr. Claiborne had ready a hand plow that he made from a melted-down handgun, a literal following of the Bible’s instruction to “beat swords into plowshares.”
They decided instead that the Liberty police would not dare arrest an 83-year-old. So that afternoon, the Rev. Tony Campolo, co-founder of the Red Letter Christians, entered the front door of Thomas Road Baptist Church, and left a red box with the bewildered receptionist.
Inside the box, tied with a ribbon, was a stack of prayers, written on index cards, from the participants of the revival.
“Dear Liberty, I am praying for your campus,” said one. “The Jesus in the Bible speaks of love and acceptance. I hope you learn to speak of this too.”

 


23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

This is not the  “2 Corinthians” but sums up the Trump Presidency to date. The past 2 years of this administration has the capacity to show us the value of really paying attention to who we elected and have elected to serve all of the American people (this means all of the people who currently reside, work and live in the United States and it’s territories). The current leadership is Congress have been taken hostage by extreme right factions who much in the mindset of the 1600’s era “witch hunters” and religious zealots. it is well to consider how “Religious” are people who purport to believe in God yet deny the religious rights of others using subterfuge and misstatements to justify what “they interpret” as right or wrong. The big push in this administration is to install as many “Conservative” judges as possible in lifetime positions that will push us all into the right of center spiral which would be just as inappropriate as left of center. Our position should be an equalizing mix of center right, center left and center in order to have the best governance. As a Nation we will never all agree on everything but we do need to agree on somethings and be able to have a discussion or at least have representatives who can present our views for discussion. If the elected entity is not representing all of their voting base in as equitable fashion as possible then their time in office should be short. Religion should never be a factor in politics as politics is a part of governing and governing is a state function aka “separation of church and state”.


MAY 24, 2018
Meyerson on TAP
What do you get when you put a pipsqueak totalitarian and a wannabe authoritarian in the same room?
We may never know. The Kim-Trump Singapore Summit has been called off.
To any dispassionate observer, the summit’s cancellation should come as no surprise. With John Bolton now guiding what passes for Trump’s foreign and military policy, the prospect of Trump sitting down with Kim was never any better than remote.
My own pet theory is that the summit was cancelled due to the lack of child care. Putting two nuclear-armed leaders with the impulse controls of two-year-olds together in the same room requires the presence of sober, strategically sophisticated room monitors. No such figure exists within the Trump White House, and if there are some in Kim’s entourage, we certainly haven’t seen them.
Of course, the need for such monitors is even greater now that the talks are off. The boys still have nukes, after all, and the boys are very into their toys. ~ HAROLD MEYERSON

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The Resident has reached a new high in trying to achieve his agenda and as usual uses any misinformation he is told. His favorite target is still President Obama. The recent stretch is regarding 100 plus Judicial vacancies. These vacancies are primarily the fault of the Congressional majority and its leader Bitch McConnell, McConnell if we recall, stated publicly that “this President (Obama) will be a one term President and to that end not much legislation submitted by President Obama got passed, few Judicial appointments were approved. This is the party of President Trump. As a voter the actions of the current majority party and its Titular heads should enrage you. The current administration and the Congressional leaders have their own agendas and we as voters are not part of it. It is wise to remember that for many years most of our “representatives” on both sides have become increasingly self-indulgent and lie to us when election time comes. We now have the ultimate punishment :Donald Trump as President (in his mind Emperor). The effects of this Presidency will be chaos for a number of years and if we do not oust the current Congressional leaders we will fare no better. Forget the rhetoric, the tweets and finger-pointing. Pay attention to the actual facts, get these facts by reading a variety of publications because that’s where the truth lies. The entertainment “news” is merely the unilateral opinions of people who do not share your interests and are seeking ratings rather than the truth. If we ignore the activities of this administration and the long serving Congress we are doomed to have the same poor Governance we have now.

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DJT has taken the Presidency to an unprecedented low (a lower swamp). During his tenure he has hired essentially lackeys who respond to his whims no mater whether these  whims are true, false proper or improper. Most of them or perhaps all are afraid of being called put in tweets for doing the opposite of what he wants or trying to explain what he meant by what he already said. It seems that making the effort is enough to stay off his “radar” but does nothing to further an agenda that benefits the American people that they were put in place to serve. This administration while providing entertainment is not in place for that purpose, it is in place  serve the people , ALL of the people. Too many decisions have been made for special interests and to fulfill extreme campaign promises that benefit the few. It is our job (voters) to elect the best people to work in Government (including Congress) and we have failed for a long time. To be sure we voters all want good government but we have been subverted by political parties and their subsets. I believe we all are Conservatives as defined: “holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion”. The difference among us is that we have allowed louder voices to usurp our thoughts of who or what we think we are as Conservatives. With this is mind we need to disregard what candidates from any party attempts to tell us what to think by using innuendo, lies and misconstrued information from many sources. The goal of all candidates is to get elected, after that the handlers take over and spew out whatever it takes to get legislation passed, repealed or altered and many times to our (voters) detriment. Keep in mind that all information is not necessarily correct or incorrect but sometimes is skewed using certain wordage in certain sentence construction. It is my opinion that we can do better by reading as many sources as we can to get a wider view than what is presented as “campaign facts” leaving the entertainment to the professionals in TV land and the movie industry. If we (voters) do not constantly read several sources and evaluate what is being presented to us we will continue to have poor government from the Local to Federal level. Going out on limb, I would state that any one running for election is to be viewed with skepticism and questioned severely when conducting “town halls” or campaign stops, it is your right to question.

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Apparently Trump U’s primary training was to learn the art of laminating lies upon more lies.MA

By Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large 14 hrs ago

On Sunday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted. And tweeted. And tweeted.
Between 9:04 am and 9:37 am, Trump sent 5 tweets — all around the same basic theme: He is being unfairly persecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller even as Mueller and the broader FBI overlook crimes by Democrats.
The tweets are riddled with misinformation and, in some cases, outright falsehoods. Taken together, Trump said 11 things that aren’t true. Here’s the breakdown — tweet by tweet.
1. “Things are really getting ridiculous. The Failing and Crooked (but not as Crooked as Hillary Clinton) @nytimes has done a long & boring story indicating that the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt has found nothing on Russia & me so now they are looking at the rest of the World!” (9:04 am)

Trump is referring here to an article in the Times published Saturday detailing a 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a liaison for two Arab princes in which the emissary made clear that his clients wanted to assist Trump’s campaign.
He is also making a tangential reference to a detailed piece published in the Times earlier this week that detailed the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between his campaign and the Russians.
Trump is hanging his conclusion on this one sentence: “A year and a half later, no public evidence has surfaced connecting Mr. Trump’s advisers to the hacking or linking Mr. Trump himself to the Russian government’s disruptive efforts.”
What that sentences makes clear is a) no public evidence yet exists and b) the investigation is ongoing.
Untruth/Exaggeration Count: 1
2. “….At what point does this soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP! They have found no Collussion with Russia, No Obstruction, but they aren’t looking at the corruption…”
There’s zero factual basis — at least that I can find — for Trump putting a $20 million price tag on the Mueller probe. The closest we have come to a fact-based cost for the Mueller probe is back in December, when the investigation’s total cost was $6.7 million.
Trump’s claim that there are 13 Democrats on Mueller’s team is also false. According to The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, five of the 16 known members of Mueller’s team donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. The New York Times says that nine of the 17 known lawyers on Mueller’s team have donated to Democratic campaigns in the past. Then there’s this from the Post’s Philip Bump: “Of the 18 attorneys we identified on Mueller’s team, half gave no money to anyone, according to our analysis. Another five gave $1,000 or less. The one who gave the most also gave to two Republicans.”
RELATED: Meet the Mueller team
It’s not entirely clear who Trump is referring to with the line “two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years” but, presumably, one of them is Mueller himself. The problem with that is that Mueller was appointed FBI director by President George W. Bush, a Republican. President Obama simply kept Mueller on for the length of his 10-year term.
Trump says that Mueller’s team has found no collusion (he misspelled that word in the original tweet), but that too is not accurate. The investigation is ongoing and all of Mueller’s findings have yet to go public.
Untruth/Exaggeration Count: 4
3. “…In the Hillary Clinton Campaign where she deleted 33,000 Emails, got $145,000,000 while Secretary of State, paid McCabes wife $700,000 (and got off the FBI hook along with Terry M) and so much more. Republicans and real Americans should start getting tough on this Scam.”
First, a truth: Clinton did delete 33,000 emails after she and her attorneys determined they were entirely private and personal communications with no ties to her work as Secretary of State.
Now, to the untruths.
The $145 million figure Trump is referring to is the total donations to the Clinton Foundation by nine individuals who also at one time or another had investments in a Russian company that Clinton’s State Department allowed to buy a majority stake in Uranium One, a Canada-based company with US mining interests. The problems with Trump’s claim, as detailed here by PolitiFact, are considerable and include the fact that the donations to the Clinton Foundation were made prior to the idea of Clinton serving as secretary of State and that State was one of nine agencies who okayed the deal.
Trump’s insistence that someone in the Clinton campaign paid then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s wife $700,000 as a payoff to drop any investigations into them is a jumble of falsehoods. McCabe’s wife ran for the state Senate in Virginia in 2015. A super PAC affiliated with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton ally, donated $500,000 to her campaign. She lost. There is zero evidence that Hillary Clinton was involved in the donation in any way, shape or form, or that McAuliffe made the donation to dissuade Andrew McCabe from looking into alleged wrongdoing by the Clintons.
Untruth/Exaggeration Count: 2
4. “Now that the Witch Hunt has given up on Russia and is looking at the rest of the World, they should easily be able to take it into the Mid-Term Elections where they can put some hurt on the Republican Party. Don’t worry about Dems FISA Abuse, missing Emails or Fraudulent Dossier!”
The Mueller probe has not “given up” on Russia. It’s worth noting that five people in the Trump campaign orbit have already pleaded guilty to crimes unearthed by Mueller and several — including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates — are cooperating with the Mueller probe.
It’s less clear what Trump is referring to with the phrase “Dems FISA abuse” although he has repeatedly suggested that Obama ordered a wiretap on him at Trump Tower during the campaign (not true) and that the FBI placed an informant in his campaign as spy (knowledgeable sources deny that claim).
As for the missing emails, it is not clear what crime Trump is alleging, although there is little doubt Clinton would have been better served to have a neutral third party go through her emails to determine which were personal and could be deleted and which were not.
Trump’s claim that the so-called “Steele dossier” is “fraudulent” is also not accurate. The more salacious elements of the dossier, gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele, are unconfirmed by the FBI. But the intelligence community has made clear that portions of the dossier are borne out by their own investigation.
Untruth/Exaggeration Count: 3 (at least)
5. “What ever happened to the Server, at the center of so much Corruption, that the Democratic National Committee REFUSED to hand over to the hard charging (except in the case of Democrats) FBI? They broke into homes & offices early in the morning, but were afraid to take the Server?”
This one is, mostly, accurate! The FBI confirmed that the DNC repeatedly rejected their requests to turn over the email server that had been penetrated by someone allegedly affiliated with the Russians.
Trump’s reference to the raids conducted by the FBI on the homes and offices of people like former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen misses the mark, however. Federal law enforcement did not break into these homes. They conducted raids based on search warrants — and entirely legal process based on, among other things, probable cause.
Untruth/Exaggeration Count: 1

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This article had many pro and cons in the online version, too many to list, to view access this online at HuffPost.MA

Marc Lamont Hill
HuffPost•May 17, 2018

 

“Hopefully, we can move beyond these arguments and engage in deeper and more nuanced conversations about creating peace, justice and freedom in the region.”
On Monday, one day prior to the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding, the Trump administration fulfilled its promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. This move was followed by Palestinian protests in the West Bank and Gaza, with Israeli soldiers killing over 50 Palestinians, including children, and wounding over 1,000 others. Since then, debates have been raging among pundits, policymakers and everyday citizens about the struggle over Israel and Palestine. Unfortunately, many of these conversations are animated by the same stale and problematic talking points. Here are seven of the most damaging:
1. These people have been fighting forever.
This is one of the most often repeated and inaccurate comments on the conflict. The truth is that Arabs and Jews have not been fighting forever. Rather, it can be dated to the end of the 20th century or, more acutely, the beginning of the post-World War I British Mandatory period. In addition to being historically inaccurate, such a claim frames the issue as something unsolvable and intractable, in addition to reinforcing longstanding ideas of Arabs as barbaric and inherently violent.

Palestinians want peace. But justice is always a precondition of peace.
2. This is a religious conflict.
This, too, is inaccurate. Palestinians are not a religious monolith. While majority Muslim, the Palestinian community has always included Muslims, Christians and Jews. Also, prior to Zionist settlement at the end of the Ottoman Empire, religious diversity was a feature of historic Palestine. Even after Jewish immigration began, Zionist settlers were mainly secular, as were the indigenous Palestinians.
But this isn’t just a question of historical accuracy. By framing the conflict as religious, we are encouraged to see it as an internecine squabble between two equally earnest parties who are in possession of competing religious texts or scriptural interpretations. Simply put, this is not about religion. It’s about land theft, expulsion and ethnic cleansing by foreign settlers to indigenous land.
3. It’s very complicated.
In a certain way, the issue is indeed complicated. After more than a century of conflict, there is definitely a lot of nuance surrounding various truth claims, policies and solutions. Too often, however, the claim that “it’s complicated” functions as an excuse to sidestep a very simple reality: this is about the 70-year struggle of a people who have been expelled, murdered, robbed, imprisoned and occupied. While there’s certainly a need to engage the finer points of the conflict, we can never lose sight of this basic and very uncomplicated point.
4. Palestinians keep turning down fair deals.
This argument wrongly presumes that any deal that includes the sharing of stolen land with the victims of said theft could be fair. But even in relative and pragmatic terms, this is not true. Think back to the wildly disproportionate U.N. partition agreement of 1947 that allotted 55 percent of the land to the Jewish population even though there only comprised 33 percent of the population and owned 7 percent of the land. Or look to the 2008 negotiations between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that did not allow for a contiguous Palestinian territory nor a real resolution to the struggle over Jerusalem, Palestinians have never been offered a deal that allows for a truly independent, fertile, sufficient, and secure state.

5. Palestinians don’t want peace.
This argument plays on Orientalist narratives of Arabs as innately violent, irrational, pre-modern and undeserving of Western democracy or diplomacy. The argument also castigates Palestinians for resisting their brutal occupation and repression. Occupied people have a legal and moral right to defend themselves. To ask them not to resist is to ask them to die quietly. Palestinians want peace. But justice is always a precondition of peace.
6. Israel has a right to exist!
This claim is a product of U.S. and Israeli hasbara, a term for propaganda. First, this argument is only rhetorically deployed in relation to Israel, as opposed to Palestine or virtually any other nation-states. After all, no one routinely demands that Israel and its advocates declare Palestine’s “right to exist” as an abstract idea, physical space or independent nation. More importantly, however, the claim obscures a more fundamental truth: no country has a right to exist, only people do. By naturalizing the idea that nation-states have a “right to exist,” we undermine our ability to offer a moral critique of Israel’s (or any settler-colony’s) origin story.

No country has a right to exist, only people do.
If a country has a natural right to exist, there is less room to challenge the means by which that country obtains land, interacts with indigenous populations or engages in international and domestic law. After all, it had a right to exist, right? The “right to exist” argument also reified the nation-state, erasing its relatively new emergence as a political imaginary construct. In other words, the idea of nations and nationalism is relatively new. (This is why the whole “there was never a country called Palestine” argument is both ahistorical and dishonest). The argument also limits our ability to imagine the world on different terms and different political formations, including the reconstitution of historic Palestine (or contemporary Israel) as a single democracy for ALL citizens, regardless of race, class, gender or religion.
7. You’re anti-Semitic!
Anti-Semitism is a very real phenomenon around the globe. And we must be vigilant about addressing and destroying anti-Semitism wherever it emerges. Too often, however, this claim is leveled against anyone who critiques or protests the practices of the Israeli nation-state.
Under these conditions, allegations of anti-Semitism become nothing more than a reflexive retort, intended to shut down the conversation. More importantly, this is a key part of Zionist strategy: equating Judaism with Zionism and the Israeli state itself. Under this logic, to critique Israel is to critique Judaism. Such arguments also ignore the fact that the Jewish tradition is one that covets justice and fairness, and its principles are in fundamental opposition with the Israeli government’s actions.
Hopefully, we can move beyond these arguments and engage in deeper and more nuanced conversations about creating peace, justice and freedom in the region.

Marc Lamont Hill is the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University, a CNN political commentator and former host of HuffPost Live.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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The reason for Trump is dissatisfaction with Government but the focus needs to be directed at the people we elect on the Congressional level. The myriad of political views which are excited by the election and ongoing tweet governance of DJT (TOTUS, #45 or your preferred description) have proven to be more of a distraction than attraction. The assorted Named groups from Conservative to progressive and the subsets that exist all appear to  have a similar agenda and that is get their way without considering how their way affects everyone else. There is and never will be a perfect solution to governing or lawmaking. The best we can hope for is electing people who are as middle of the road as possible. Our current political campaigns are fueled by huge amounts of money since the Citizens United ruling (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), is a landmark U.S. constitutional law, campaign finance, and corporate law case dealing with regulation of political campaign spending by organizations. The United States Supreme Court held (5–4) on January 21, 2010 that the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for communications by nonprofit corporations, for-profit corporations, labor unions, and other associations.)  Along with this ruling came the darker side of politics, the name calling, the barely true and unlikely true statements. Essentially the idea became a Goebbels-Hitler method of politics. This method follows any National unrest or upheaval, ours was the early 2000’s financial collapse brought on the greed in the Real Estate debacle of sub prime mortgage lending and the shock to some citizens of Having a person of color being elected President. The long string of anti anything or person of color was proudly pushed by this administration with no regard for the long range effects. All of the showy signing of rollback executive orders with no regard or understanding of the harm that will ensue should give ALL of us a reason to vote for people who will (we hope) fight back on these types of roll backs. The multitude of “buzzwords, sound bites and outright lies” should not be the convincing information to vote for anyone. As voters it is our DUTY to get All of the facts even if we don’t like them. With facts one can make a reasonable choice of who represents us. It is well to remember that Washington has the power to corrupt and once we understand that, we must keep backing the most honest of our lawmakers no matter which party they serve under. It is well to remember that this administration conflate lie with the truth as a matter of course along with the extreme conservatives who interfere with the work and funding of Women’s and low income citizens nutritional health. 

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“The problem with this country is with the politicians, not with the people,” exclaims Sultan Aziz Abu Hasan, a clerk sitting behind the desk at a small pharmacy.
“We need to get those thieves out,” says Fizza Ali, as a crowd listens attentively to the debate about democracy between the candidate and voters.”
This statement was made by a resident of Mosul to a candidate for office. This resonated with me since it reflects my thoughts about our own politicians especially now. The United States has undergone nearly two years of incompetent Federal Leadership all with the assistance of a Neer do well Congress lead by two of possibly the worst Congressional leaders in our history. The goal appears to be to attack the most vulnerable among us. All of the talk about jobs, deals that affect our allies and the egocentric executive actions area pushing us into the position of being nearly a third world situation. The worst part of this is our 2 Congressional leaders(?) have abdicated their duty to the country in favor of a Narcissus who happened to get elected. Each action by this Resident is aimed at campaign promises that do nothing for America as a whole but benefit small groups of people whose interest are solely their own. At this time the “Evangelical conservatives” are pushing for moral authority over us all by supporting the selection of “conservative” judges in high courts which will shift the courts to the right for years (do we want a bunch of “ROY MOORE’S on the bench?). Every action of this administration will push us back as country to a time where it was OK to kill anyone with an accent or a different skin color. The long range effect of this administration will surely create rifts among us which is exactly what this administration thrives on along with the daily diets of  misinformation and outright lies streaming on twitter, backed up by the talking heads of the administration.

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